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This London bride’s ‘Disney-esque’ wedding dress was inspired by her mother’s vintage Biba jacket

After getting engaged on a road trip through Scotland, Sara El Dabi and Oskar Proctor traveled to Florence to find a contemporary engagement ring that would match the creative bride’s style. The famous Ponte Vecchio was the solution. Near the bridge, the couple found antique dealer Bernardo Antichità. The quaint shop housed the late Georgian sapphire treasure they would take home after a trip filled with Botticelli and Barolo.

There was never any doubt that the couple would host the reception at Sweetings, London’s oldest fish and oyster restaurant, which basically insists that you eat a jam roll or steamed biscuit after the dressed crab. Photographer Oskar had captured the popular, unpretentious bar for World of interior design before and became friends with the staff who served the newlyweds and their 100 guests fish, chips and mushy peas. “It felt like a second home,” explains Sara, who used ice buckets as vases for her friend Zahra Suzanne’s garden roses and loved that the restaurant served Black Velvet cocktails in pewter mugs.

After picking up his future wife at The Ned, where the bride did her own hair but had help with her makeup from Maha Alselami, the couple took a taxi to Ironmongers’ Hall near the Barbican for a short and simple ceremony. While they hid in the annex waiting for the family to arrive, Oskar’s reaction to Sara’s wedding dress, inspired by a favorite dress that once belonged to her mother, was priceless.

“My mum saw this fairytale, Disney-esque pink dress with puffed sleeves in a magazine and hitchhiked from Newcastle to Biba on Kensington High Street to buy it,” explains Sara, who worked with a seamstress to create a tribute to the look that had always made her feel special. She sourced a beautiful ivory duchesse satin from Shepherd’s Bush Market, which is particularly dear to her heart as it offers original Sudanese Toub fabric that brings back memories of her family, many of whom now live in Cairo. Her friends, including Fashion‘s Chioma Nnadi (who contributed her sparkling Gucci heels) were integral to the rest of the bridal look. “Part of me will always be known as a late ’90s and early 2000s RnB fanatic, and so the sparkling double G logo felt like the essence of that,” says the former DJ. “I wanted the fun diamond design on top of that.”

A peach veil by Vivienne Westwood – “I’ve always loved the idea of ​​a coloured veil” – complemented the bespoke silk bag Sara had been given by her seamstress, and the couple’s wedding rings came from an old jewellery shop in Ramsgate, providing the perfect canvas for Sara’s striking sapphire engagement ring.

After oysters, speeches and piles of Lily Vanilli cake, the night on the town ended with Sara and Oskar’s loved ones crowding the makeshift dance floor as Bobby Caldwell’s “What You Won’t Do for Love” echoed through every nook and cranny of Sweetings. “It was reminiscent of a hot, sweaty club in 2008,” Sara recalls with delight. “Everyone came for us and became part of our story.”

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